Master’s Tea with Lisa Lee

Yesterday, Lisa Lee came to talk to Yale students about her work with both the magazine Hyphen and the newly launched website “Thick Dumpling Skin.”

As an Asian American woman, Lee’s work really speaks to me. Hearing her speak in person made me feel proud to identify myself with such an empowered women. Although Lee clearly has impressive credentials and influence, she never for one moment talked down to her audience. Her natural, down-to-earth manner made me feel especially receptive to the issues she raised and the points she brought up during the tea.

Lee emphasized that both Hyphen and “Thick Dumpling Skin” are resources which first and foremost serve the communities they cater to. The goals of both are to break stereotypes and to give Asian Americans a place where they can feel like they belong.

Cleverly using a quote from everyone’s favorite Spiderman series, the thing Lee said which struck me the most was “With great power comes great responsibility.” To break Asian American stereotypes, Asian Americans themselves must first stop perpetuating them. In the YouTube world, leaders like KevJumba and Wongfu have enormous support and with that they also have enormous influence. Lee hopes that all Asian American leaders can be aware of their actions and this has inspired me to be more conscious of what I do on a daily basis.

There is a long way to go before all Asian American women can shake the need to fit the mold of intelligent, thin, and submissive, but with leaders like Lisa Lee, they can start finding their own identities.

Post by guest contributor Mendy Yang, CC ’15

Karin Chien Reveals Underground Film Industry in China

Submitted by Karmen Cheung MC ’13

The Pierson Master’s Tea with Karin Chien can be described as a funny yet enlightening experience filled with inspiring stories about that start of her career, her work as a distributor of independent films from China and her role as an Asian American independent film producer. After completing college in three years and working in the sub-prime mortgage industry for another two, Chien finally embarked on her career in film. She “swallows her pride” and quit her job for an unpaid internship, where her main responsibilities included sweeping the floors and taking out the trash. However, in the span of six months, she went from being the trash girl to the head of a whole department. A series of fateful events and people have spurred her career and today, she has produced 10 feature length films, won the 2010 Sundance Independent Film Award and become the founder of an entire distribution company.

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TAS Master’s Tea with Economist Stephen Roachman

Submitted by Cece Xie, TC ’13

On November 1, TAS was proud to host its first-ever TAS Tea. We invited Stephen Roach, chairman of Morgan Stanley Asia, for an intimate gathering in order to discuss Taiwan, China, and the emerging market in Asia. A highly influential authority on the global financial system, Stephen Roach has immense knowledge of Asia’s economy, with recent emphasis on globalization, the emergence of China, productivity, and the macroeconomic impacts of information technology. He is also currently a Senior Lecturer at the School of Management.

Professor Roach started off with a brief overview of China’s economy in the past thirty years. Three years after the Cultural Revolution ended, in 1979, China’s economy was in shambles. Over the next few years, China pushed for massive reform and change, resulting in a spectacular surge in exports. China’s GDP grew at tremendous rates, a model that other countries have looked upon with envy and are trying to emulate. The Chinese model, however, is not sustainable, and the Chinese economy will have to shift in response. China must now focus on internal consumption instead of exports. Internal demand must increase at this point.

This is where Taiwan enters the equation. Although there are many political tensions between China and Taiwan, it is impossible to talk about one without the other–they are linked at the hip, economically. Under the new administration and the recent cross-strait trade agreement (ECFA), China and Taiwan’s economic ties are ever more solidified. This agreement is a big deal for Taiwan, estimated at 110 billion USD. Tariffs between the two countries are greatly reduced as a result.

As China’s economic policy shifts these next few years, the US can also look to greatly benefiting. The policy makers in Washington, D.C., would be wise to push for increased access to China’s internal markets, especially as China attempts to focus on internal consumption rather than exports. Instead of viewing China as the enemy, China’s trading partners should take advantage of the changing model. China’s trading partners are poised to become huge beneficiaries and should not push China away in this critical time period.

North Korean Defector Shares Experience at ThiNK Master’s Tea

Submitted by Dong Won Lee, SM ’11

Flyer for ThiNK Master’s Tea

On Oct. 19, Silliman College hosted Ana Jang from PSCORE (People for Successful Corean Reunification), an NGO that seeks to raise awareness and foster discussion for the “mutual understanding and harmony between the two Koreas,” and Jinhye Jo, a 24-year-old North Korean defector.

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The Angel of Saigon

Betty Tisdale (fourth from left) posing with students at the Morse Master's Tea on Thursday.

“You can’t accept ‘no’” said Betty Tisdale, at the Morse Master’s Tea on Thursday, September 16.

This small, grandmotherly lady is tougher than she looks.

Whether she’s calling government officials’ mothers or dressing up as a steward to secretly collect food for orphans in Vietnam, Betty Tisdale stopped at nothing to do all she could to help the helpless.

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